Retail Technology

The rapid advances in digital and automation technologies have led to new developments in a number of industries, the retail industry being one of them. From check-out to inventory management, fulfillment to in-store facilities, retail technology includes the implementation of innovations and digital solutions in retail and e-commerce processes. The use of retail technology plays a fundamental role in customer experience. Today, both brick-and-mortar and online businesses invest in many aspects of retail technology. In-store retail tech tools include the use of technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence, such as smart mirrors and self-checkouts. For e-commerce businesses, retail technologies enable efficient inventory management with the help of cloud software, help manage customer bases and maintain a frictionless retail experience across multiple platforms through CRM tools.

Number of stores which offer autonomous checkouts worldwide by 2023
Value of funding received by in-store retail technology companies worldwide in 2019
3.7m U.S. dollars
Value of funding received by e-commerce retail technology companies worldwide in 2019
20m U.S. dollars

Market size

Potential for investment growth
Retail technology financing deals worldwide from 2016 to 2020 (in million U.S. dollars)
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Retail technology is key for brick-and-mortar companies, B2B and B2C e-commerce businesses, online marketplaces, and e-services like meal kit and food delivery. In recent years, financial funding into these segments has grown substantially, encouraging businesses towards the digital transformation of their organizations. In 2020, investments and funding of about 40.2 billion U.S. dollars went into retail tech deals across all sectors.

Retail store technology investment by retail stores in the United States
Supply chain and logistics retail tech funding worldwide
Online grocery and meal delivery retail tech funding worldwide

Market segments

Retail tech: behind the scenes and at the store front
Quarterly e-commerce retail technology deal financing worldwide from Q1 2018 to Q1 2021 (in million U.S. dollars)
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Retail technology aids both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce companies in several steps of their business processes. Supply chain and logistics are areas in which both online and conventional retail companies benefit from digital solutions. For e-commerce and multichannel businesses, retail technologies such as payments and personalization attract more investment and interest. On the store front, retail technology plays a big part in transforming today's retail stores into experiential spaces.

Cross-channel services offered by convenience stores in the United States
In-store retail tech funding worldwide
Reduced costs due to automation implementation in retail stores worldwide

Industry trends

Next stage in brick-and-mortar retail
New retail formats: retail technology deal financing worldwide from 2015 to 2019 (in million U.S. dollars)
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Digital technologies in retail are widely used by e-commerce businesses, but it is brick-and-mortar and multichannel retail businesses that are now spearheading the adoption of retail technologies in the retail industry at large. Among the in-store retail technologies that companies prioritize are smart or self-checkout kiosks, smart fitting rooms powered by augmented or virtual reality, and widespread digital payment options.

Global stores with autonomous checkouts
Drone delivery for retail
Virtual Assistant Technology

Industry leaders

Asia wins the retail tech game
Share of retail technology financing deals undertaken worldwide in 2020, by region
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Worldwide, the largest share of investments and funding into retail tech is concentrated in Asia. This is not surprising seeing as the region currently has the highest online revenues and the most e-commerce users. North America is a close runner-up, having received around 34 percent of global retail tech funding in 2020. Compared to the biggest two retail tech trailblazers, Europe is lagging behind in terms of retail tech investments.

Market size of automated retail services in China
Omnichannel retail in the United States
Retail technology in the UK

Industry definition

Retail technology refers to the digital tools and innovations utilized by brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce platforms in their in-store and supply chain operations. It sits at the heart of the digital transformation of retail businesses. Retail technology tools are often powered by automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Data on retail technology provided by Statista cover the usage of retail technology in both physical and online retail, monitoring the current and planned investment and roll-out of retail technologies in the larger retail and e-commerce sectors.


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